Battle for Azeroth has been strange for me, in regards to mythic+ dungeons. In Legion, the dungeons were fantastic, and with the exception of a couple, I enjoyed doing them. But in Battle for Azeroth, I don’t seem to be participating in them much. While nothing really has changed with how mythic+ works, I think it comes down to a couple of issues.
Mythic+ Azerite system is unfulfilling
The first issue I won’t elaborate on here, but it relates to the current design of some classes, which I may write a post dedicated to that. The second issue is in which Azerite gear is rewarded from participating in mythic+. Since the launch of Battle for Azeroth, if you relied on mythic+ to get your Azerite gear, then you likely had and still do have a dreadful experience.
Azerite gear is only awarded in your weekly mythic+ chest, and competes with regular gear, so the chances of seeing an Azerite piece was on the low side. Sure, there is some sort of ‘bad luck protection’, but we don’t know how this is exactly calculated. So there’s no way of targeting your Azerite gear if you mostly run mythic+ dungeons. This is bad as it completely takes control away from the player. At least you know which boss drops Azerite gear in raids.
Patch 8.1 comes with improvements!
So you can see how terrible, attaining Azerite gear from mythic+ is, right? Well, in patch 8.1, which releases December 11th-13th (depending on your region), a currency is being added and a familiar Ethereal returns, as a vendor to offer us Azerite gear to spend that currency on!
This currency, known as Titan Residuum, is what you’ll be getting from your weekly mythic+ chest, on top of a regular piece of gear and Azerite Power. Of course, how much Titan Residuum depends on the highest keystone you complete during that week.
Now you’re probably wondering what the cost of these Azerite pieces are. Keep in mind, there is a separate cache for all three slots, so you buy a normal quality Azerite helm cache, you will receive a helmet.
Normal quality Azerite cache (Helm, Shoulder or Chest) = 125 Titan Residdum
Specific Mythic quality item = 3250 Titan Residuum
What this means is that you will be able to target each slot either randomly at a cheaper price, or specific Azerite pieces at a premium price. If you want that best in slot Azerite armour, then you can actively work towards getting that piece, which is better than any other gearing source in Battle for Azeroth.
You may also be wondering if there are other ways to obtain Titan Residuum. And you’re right, there is another way. You can scrap any Azerite piece for Titan Residuum, which will make other pieces from other sources, much more valuable. Just don’t hoard all the Azerite pieces you find prior to patch 8.1, it won’t count!
It’s a step in the right direction
It doesn’t fix the core problems with Azerite gear, not one bit. But this is wholly, a positive change in regards to gearing through mythic+. I’ve read some comments from players who bring up the fact that it will take six weeks to get one specific mythic quality piece, if you’re doing your +10 each week. Six weeks can be seen as a long time. But we’re talking about being able to buy your best in slot Azerite piece. Why should it be quick to attain? We’re being presented with a system to work towards getting the best pieces, so I agree that it should take a bit of time to get, especially if you’re not doing content that doesn’t reward you with that level of gear. This is essentially like the vendors we had in The Burning Crusade and The Wrath of the Lich King, but better.
All we need is for vendors to come back for those who only raid, to combat heavy bad luck streaks. I’m not talking best in slot stuff, just some things to slowly work towards if you didn’t get loot. Just like in the first two expansions, vendor gear was mostly complimentary.
What do you think of the currency and vendor being added in patch 8.1?
One of the better scenarios in the game
Giving myself a good amount of time before writing up my thoughts, my stance on the Battle for Lordaeron stays as it was.
From the get-go, the scenario starts after the Battle for Azeroth cinematic ends, and it’s a great start. From an Alliance perspective, seeing the area surrounding the Undercity (Lordaeron Keep), in ruin, sets the tone for the rest of the scenario. Especially when Glenn Greymane gives his speech and ends it with “For the Alliance!”.
Charging into battle and seeing all of those NPCs around you, makes it feel like you’re in a real war. This was perhaps even more important than have cut scenes move the story along. As the Battle for Azeroth is focusing on the faction war, this scenario needed to give that war feel. And it certainly succeeds.
The cut scenes definitely help
Recently Blizzard have been using cut scenes to smoothen out stories in-game. They’ve definitely helped to move the story along. Rather than having key moments take place in-game, what these cut scenes do is set the mood and block any distractions that may occur.
(Spoiler for The Burning of Teldrassil quest)
Let’s go back to the encounter where Sylvanas and Malfurion are locked in battle, on Darkshore. Would it be better to leave it as it was or have a dedicated cut scene, much like the ones that are made for the Battle for Lordaeron? The former makes it far easier to not care for two reasons, and I’m not talking about lore. 1) The scene didn’t have the right mood. There was no sense of care that the player might have and it felt like any other in-game scene. It’s less about this point 1, but more about my next point. 2) The player can be distracted easily. While there aren’t any other things happening at this moment, the focus is clearly on Sylvanas and Malfurion, but once you give the player freedom of movement, some of your players will not even pay attention. With cut scenes, it sets the scene for key moments, which could have been far more powerful.
What I also found quite impressive, was the voice acting, mainly for Sylvanas and especially during certain scenes. Patty Mattson is a talented voice actor and she showcases the how venomous Sylvanas can sound. This is what I love about Sylvanas’ character. Here’s a video of the ending of the Battle for Lordaeron scene. Just listen to how Sylvanas sounds. Of course, this is a spoiler if you haven’t played through the Battle for Lordaeron yet.
If you want a better understanding of the story, I’d recommend that you do both the Alliance and Horde side, as it’ll give you some perspective from either faction.
While there are a couple of iffy moments like Jaina’s entrance, the Battle for Lordaeron is easily the best scenario that Blizzard have done. It’s a strong start after the mixed reception the Burning of Teldrassil event received.
What do you think about the Battle for Lordaeron scenario?
Stardew Valley is a game that doesn’t really hold your hand. A lot of things you have to figure out for yourself unless you look it up. I experimented with a few things early on and found a reliable source of income, early on.
Now if there is something even more profitable than what I’m about to tell you, then by all means, share it with us!
Fishing is a wonderful source of income
The first thing to do is to find Willy. He owns a fishing shop on the beach and when you speak to him, he gives you a Bamboo Pole. Now you can begin to fish! All you need to do is to get used to the fishing mechanic and start catching some fish. Regular Red Mullet goes for 75 gold each and Herring 30g. But when you start to see starred fish, you really start seeing the money come in. You can easily rake in over 1500 within the first couple of in-game days.
After this, I would go for that backpack upgrade as soon as possible and get 300 wood, to fix the bridge on the beach. Across the bridge, you’ll find coral, which sometimes respawns each day. These can sell for a lot of gold! So I would go straight for the coral first, then catch as much fish as possible on the dock, around Willy’s shop. You can then sell things to Willy if you’re running out of inventory space. Remember, it doesn’t matter where you sell, you’ll always get the same price.
That’s about it really! Not only is fishing a good way to make some money, it’s also one of the more engaging activities. At least to me! So get fishing. : )
Which method(s) have you tried to get money early on?
Now that patch 8.0 is live (class changes can be found here), I’ve managed to test out the classes I’ve decided to play in Battle for Azeroth (Bfa). And I think for the first time since The Wrath of the Lich King, I won’t be leveling a Shaman first, going into an expansion. In this post, I’ll be sharing with you the reasons why.
But keep in mind that the classes are balanced for level 120, so things that may seem weak or overpowered now, may not be at 120.
A step backward in design
Elemental has taken a step backward. With the unexplained removal of Gust of Wind and Flame Shock back on a 6-second cooldown, the spec no longer has the flexibility to deal with two important situations. Target switching and escapes. In Legion, Flame Shock had no cooldown, so it wasn’t as much of a problem. Part of the problem also lies with Lava Burst, Elemental Overload and to a lesser extent, High Voltage.
With Lava Burst having a guaranteed critical strike when Flame Shock is on the target, it’s damage is going to be balanced around that. So a non-crit Lava Burst is pretty weak. There’s also the fact that most spells are balanced around Elemental Overload, so the raw damage from Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lava Burst, Elemental Blast and Icefury are much low but are compensated through Elemental Overload (which is based on a %). This is where Elementals have issues with damage ramp up and target switching. Now that Path of Flame is gone, which was a talent in Legion where Lava Bursts spreads Flame Shock near your target, there’s no other way to spread it. Other classes with DoT spells aren’t tied to cooldowns either, except Unstable Affliction (off the top of my head). It doesn’t make sense.
Gust of Wind was one of the best spells a Shaman has had in the entirety of its existence. It offered an escape to dodge mechanics in PvE scenarios, but in PvP, it was put to a lot of use. It wasn’t particularly overpowered at all, considering it was a talent, which meant you had to choose it over others in the same row. With this gone and Flame Shock back on cooldown, you definitely feel like you’ve been robbed of some spells that improved the quality of life as an Elemental Shaman.
Some talents should be baseline
Now that the Stormkeeper talent is a weaker version of the artifact weapon Stormkeeper, you can really feel less of an ‘oomph’ with the spec. Elemental Shamans are known for burst AoE and have had it for the entirety of Legion. It’s also competing with Unlimited Power and Ascendance.
Elemental Blast should be baseline by now because it just changes up your rotation a bit. Although until its damage is increased, it doesn’t feel great to use when it only hits for around 15% more damage than Lightning Bolt. Currently, the passive talents seem to be performing better in general. For example Exposed Elements, Totem Mastery, High Voltage, Primal Elementalist and Unlimited Power. With this setup, you’re essentially stuck with the baseline kit. I’m not entirely sure if Azerite traits will change this much, but it’s visibly not the most exciting spec to play, even after the recent buffs to Maelstrom generation. It’s just not fun after what we had in Legion.
While Enhancement doesn’t have as many issues as Elemental, the biggest problem I’ve seen from playing Enhancement is that there is frequent over capping with Maelstrom. And because of that, it makes certain talents less effective. Stormbringer tends to proc quite often, which actually, is fine. I like Stormbringer. But either a maximum of 100 Maelstrom is too low or Stormbringer reducing the Stormstrike cost to 0 is the problem. There are many times I cast Stormstrike after Stormstrike close to or at 100 Maelstrom, and it makes dumping it difficult. This wastes Maelstrom.
Talents such as Hot Hand and suffer because it either makes Lava Lash free of charge at mercy of RNG. Boulderfist isn’t that good, and Lightning Shield is currently too good to pass up. Plus as you’ve already heard, it gives you that ‘Thor feel’.
There are also talents like Boulderfist and Searing Assault which should be removed because they are incredibly dull talents. Feral Lunge should be baseline and would help with mobility. Forceful Winds could be as well, though I have the view that all of the base artifact abilities should be baseline for every spec (Stormkeeper, Dimensional Rifts, Doom Winds, Apocalypse etc.)
Both specs aren’t as polished as others
It’s evident that both specs aren’t as fluid as other specs, much like Shadow Priests seem to be. While Blizzard have mentioned there will be changes in patch 8.1, it looks like Ul’dir won’t be a popular raid for dps Shamans, especially if they have weaker utility than other classes (this is probably only an issue in Mythic raiding, high Mythic+ and high rank PvP). For Normal and Heroic, it should be fine.
What do you think of Elemental and Enhancement Shamans right now?
After longing for a new game to play on the Nintendo Switch that isn’t related to Mario or Zelda, I decided to give Stardew Valley a go. I heard a lot of good things about the game, but the one thing I was reluctant about was the fact that it’s a farming game. This isn’t usually my cup of tea, but as it’s an RPG (which is my forte), I had to try it.
I love Stardew Valley. It’s exactly the game I’ve been meaning to play right now. That is, it’s a game I can play whenever I want, however I want and the pace I want. It’s also not heavy in combat, as you can simply farm, gather materials, do some quests and explore.
The best part about Stardew Valley is that it doesn’t quite hold your hand, so you have to figure most things out for yourself. And with a game like this, it’s best played figuring it out yourself, otherwise, you’ll just end up following optimal routes. And that’s nowhere near as enjoyable.
The energy bar plays a big role
Most of what you do revolves around the energy bar. There are similar systems in a lot of games where you need to manage a resource, and a lot of them would be a hell of a lot less interesting without such micromanagement.
This way, you have to be careful with how often you spend your time hacking away at trees and even watering your crops. The days aren’t that long so choosing what you want to do in advance is a good idea. And it’s these sort of decisions that make the game special.
Although, what I don’t like so much is how the day goes pretty quickly. When you expend too much energy by the time it’s 11am, you’ll need some energy replenishing food or drink, otherwise, you’ll need to sleep until the next day. Also, there are buildings and events that are only open during certain hours, or even on specific days. I suppose this emphasizes how decisions and planning are important in the game.
Make sure you play the way you want
But don’t forget, you can play this game at your own pace. You don’t need to do everything, because that’s what a second playthrough can be for. Unlike Far Cry Primal, this is a game I’m definitely going to enjoy playing.
After beating God of War and The Witcher 3, I went through a period of trying to find the next game to dunk time into. After roughly two days of struggling to find something that sparked my interest, I arrived at the conclusion that it would be impossible to look for a game comparable to the quality of these two. Instead, I picked out a few games that I had been wanting to play. Dying Light, Wasteland 2 and Far Cry Primal.
Far Cry Primal got off to a good start
The first hour or so or Far Cry Primal hooked me. I found myself deep this world where I get to be what a hunter back in the Mesolithic period would be like (with accuracy not being something I care for). You get to go out into the wild, gathering resources to craft weapons, items, and huts. The dangerous enemies you can either avoid, tame or kill and the different approaches you can use to go about each encounter gives you the feeling that you have total control over how you play. The gameplay is easily the best aspect of the game.
The setting in which the game takes place is also a thumbs up for me. The other Far Cry I find are difficult for me to get into, but because my favourite settings are the sort of medieval, fantasy, old world environments, Primal appealed to me a lot more.
Where the game falls a bit flat, however, is the story. In the beginning, it’s a decent tale of one tribe completely dominating another, and it’s nothing revolutionary. Watching cut scenes are a big yes for me, but with Far Cry Primal, after a few hours in, I found myself skipping them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad game by any length, but it’s not groundbreaking either.
I want to get to the end
While I’m still enjoying Far Cry Primal, When I get to a point where I’m forced to finish a game, I usually put it down and come back to it some other time. But with this game, I still want to get to the end to see what happens. At the end of the day, I’m loving the hunting and open world aspects.
In World of Warcraft: Legion, Blizzard took on an effort to revamp the Demonology Warlock specialization (spec), which was at the time, a good direction.
Before Legion, it didn’t feel very demon. While there was Metamorphosis, now a Demon Hunter ability, it seemed to have more emphasis on empowering yourself, with slightly stronger demons.
When Blizzard revealed the changes to Demonology in Legion, I was very excited to see the spec play like a ‘summoner’. Meaning you summon a bunch of things that hit things for you, which I love. Legion had some good changes, but unfortunately, still very much lacked. While the act of summoning demons was and still is a blast, the two aspects that ruin the spec flow is Demonic Empowerment and having no special demons to summon.
Demonic Empowerment is a bore
Demonic Empowerment is a spell with no cooldown and is one you cast almost after every summon, and there are a lot of ’em! You can imagine how tedious that can quickly become. Combine this with the fact that you only have imps, felhunters and a felguard, in an expansion revolving around demons. A missed opportunity and a little bit lazy I’d say.
You can watch some raw footage of me trying out Demonology on the beta below:
Demonology Warlock Gameplay - WoW: Battle for Azeroth - YouTube
As someone who has always played as a Destruction Warlock, this is the first time I’ve been torn between Demonology and Destruction since The Wrath of the Lich King. The visual updates also make the class far more enticing to play.
What do you think of Battle for Azeroth’s Demonology Warlock changes?
So….Bethesda had opened a stream since yesterday evening and just revealed what the news was a couple of hours ago.
While some were thinking it was going to be a Fallout 3 remaster or Fallout Shelter port on the Nintendo Switch, others thought it would be an entirely new game. And it looks like we’re sort of getting a new game? Going by the teaser, assets from Fallout 4 seemed to be used, just like New Vegas had done from Fallout 3. So we know what it’s called, but don’t know what it’ll be like. They hit the nail on the head with teasing us I’d say.
According to a 4chan post, someone said it was going to be called Fallout 76 with gameplay similar to Rust. I think the image below is the source, but take it with a grain of salt. Although it would be interesting to get a survival type Fallout, but as a single-player game.
There are ‘rumours’ that it could feature some online functionality and according to some guy from Kotaku (I know…), it won’t be focused on single-player.
At this point, it could be anything and it’ll be nothing but speculatio. But I’m pretty sure the majority of fans, including me, would like for it to be a single-player RPG. But hey, I’m all for change and if it’s good, I’ll play it. We’ll see at E3!
Platform: PS4 Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studios Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
God of War (GoW) is another that is added to a list of games that proves the single player genre is still very much enjoyed. With multiplayer getting the attention as of late, it’s great to see games such as NieR: Automata, Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, God of War, and others showcase how incredible storytelling can be.
A somewhat humbling story
Unlike the previous God of War games, we’ve only known Kratos when he’s beating countless enemies and crushing mythical beings. Almost a ‘one-sided tale’. But back then, it was more about the gameplay.
Breathtaking is the word I would say to describe the story in God of War. It’s easy to form attachments to not only Kratos and Atraeus but also other characters like Brok and Sindri, even if Brok can be a real d-hole at times.
God of War – The journey of a Man and a Boy
Much different from the original series, God of War doesn’t take place in ancient Greece. Instead, it’s based on Norse mythology and focuses on Kratos and Atraeus’ journey through Midgard and the other eight realms, although 3 of them you have no access to at all (which is an obvious case for a sequel). By just taking place in a different setting, it makes the game much different from the rest of the series, and I love that, especially as ‘Norse lore” is some of my favourite. If it were to be based on Greek mythology again, I don’t think it would be as much of a hit.
I won’t say much more about the story, but playing through is like going through a rollercoaster of emotions. You’ll find that Kratos isn’t just a bloodthirsty machine and that he has feelings we can relate to. The one thing that enhances the storytelling is how well the camera is handled. There are no camera cuts, at all. The fact that there is only one camera view makes it feel as if you’re seeing the world in Kratos’ eyes. It’s beautiful yes, but I’ve found myself struggling to pick up other games, simply because God of War is one of the best games, if not the best game on PlayStation right now.
The only real negative I have with the story is that the boss fights are too easy, even on Give Me A Challenge mode, which by the way makes the game pretty difficult in a lot of other scenarios and especially during certain optional bosses. The balance seemed to be a little off as well at times. On Give Me A Challenge I found that at some points early on, the game was vastly more difficult but that could be because you don’t have many skills/upgrades, but even then in the late game, it ramped up, even more, only to get considerably easier (again probably due to skills/upgrades). If you’ve played the game, what do/did you think of the difficulty balance?
Combat has never felt so good
Santa Monica Studios have taken a different approach when it comes to gameplay. Sure you could say it has been given the ‘Last of Us treatment’. I mean, what is that? Just an over-the-shoulder camera with some action? What sets this game miles apart from the likes of Uncharted, The Last of Us and Tomb Raider, is how brutal and intense it can be. One second you’ll be smashing through enemies, the next using Atraeus to shoot stun things, then smashing a pillar on a troll’s head. It’s the executions and over-the-top nature of combat which sets God of War apart. Not to mention throwing Kratos’ Leviathan Axe (easily as iconic as Lara’s bow) never gets old.
The combat is just so damn fulfilling. You feel like the God of War.
This God of War sure has Depth
While the previous games had a touch of freedom, they were mostly linear. In God of War, there is a lot of freedom to be had, so much so that I found myself not even touching the main story when the game suddenly opened up multiple paths. At first, it was felt like just another open world touch, but I was wrong. Each and every side-quest, even collectibles are worth going for. Not only for the rewards, which do help massively, they’re also as interesting as the main story itself. Delving into the past and learning so much more about the setting and its inhabitants gives the game a lot more depth than I had originally thought. Usually, side quests are quite dull and not worth doing, but this game takes it to a whole new level. It’s fantastic.
God of War – Skill trees
Of course, there will be times where you might jump the gun a bit and find yourself fighting an enemy far beyond your level, which is a good thing! It highlights that you’re not strong enough, so you’ll need to attain better gear (which determines your level). Talking about gear, I love how it’s got enough RPG stat management in a way, which is completely governed by which items you equip. You can decide which sort of playstyle you like. Runic attack focus with low cooldowns? Physical attacks and high defence? Go for it.I do have to say however, I was slightly disappointed that the Valkyrie armour was inferior in terms of raw stats, to the Niflheim gear, but the effects do very much have their use. I would absolutely recommend doing the Valkyrie side-quest, which is in my view, includes some, if not the best fights in the game.
God of War – Legendary Grip of Tanngoist
Special attacks in the previous God of War games were what you had to compliment the raw physical strength that Kratos had going for him. It’s great to see them back in the latest game as it helps break up the usual combos with devastating special attacks, which you can use strategically.
High graphical fidelity
As a PS4 Pro user, my first 2 hours were played on a 4k TV, of course, I had to pack up and go back to playing in my room as it’s the family TV. Switching to performance mode was better on my much smaller, 1080p screen. But I haven’t seen a game as beautiful as this. I’ve probably said that about Monster Hunter World, Horizon Zero Dawn and some other game on PC before that, but this time I mean it. It felt like I was playing a cinematic sequence, with crisp and high fidelity visuals. I ended up taking dozens of screenshots and videos, and you bet I was happy to see Photo mode added in!
The game also has the best snow mechanics I’ve seen from what I’ve played. The gif below speaks for itself.
New music with a touch of the old
Overall the music is solid, with some Norse inspired themes standing out at certain times. But none of that beats the iconic God of War theme, with the heavy instruments and thunderous sound. I will say that you hear plenty of it throughout the game. Of course, it shouldn’t be exactly the same music, otherwise it would be boring, much like Star Wars episodes seven through nine are different from its prequels. It’s good to see change when done right. Have a listen here. Just don’t read the YouTube comments!
God of War is a Masterclass
As a big fan of the previous games, I wouldn’t have thought this God of War would live up to expectations. I was very, very wrong. I’ve played a lot of great games over the last year. NieR: Automata, Tomb Raider, Monster Hunter World, Breath of the Wild and more…but God of War takes the cake. Santa Monica Studios have demonstrated how EAs absurd the ‘single-player games aren’t popular anymore’ statement is. Being a PS4 exclusive is almost…sad because God of War is the closest you’ll get to a perfect game.
I haven’t played much World of Warcraft recently, as there’s not really that much to do, and seeing as the pre-expansion patch is (probably) only 2 months away at the latest, it’s a good time to take a break and focus my game time on other games.
Currently, God of War is what I’m mostly playing, which I absolutely love. But I’m starting to miss that MMO feel, so after a long time, I installed Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). I had read that zones scale to your level, which was enough for me to give it another shot.
It was great…for a little while
For the first few days, I was enjoying it. Instead of carrying on from the character I left off with, I decided to create a new one and go for a sword & shield with destructive magic. I didn’t care whether or not it was good for raiding or PvP as I wasn’t and still aren’t interested.
I was getting that ‘Elder Scrolls‘ feel, but it didn’t last long. Ever since then I haven’t played it since. I just can’t get into it. The combat is completely fine, even better than previous Elder Scrolls games, and the way quests are told are also what those games need to adopt in some way. I don’t get that feeling of ‘making an impact’. I think my problem with the game is that it’s an MMO. In my view, Elder Scrolls games are single player and should remain that way. Would The Witcher, God of War or Fallout franchises do well as MMOs? I don’t think they would be based on the fact that the game revolves around a single character making a big difference in the world, one mistake I believe has been made in Warlords of Draenor and Legion, with each player being either a commander of their respective faction or the leader of their class. This is where gameplay and lore really clashes.
The long wait for the Elder Scrolls 6 continues
It has been 7 years since Skyrim was released, which is a long time! At this point, I’m just looking for that Elder Scrolls itch, which I thought ESO would give, but it’s not for me.
While we don’t won’t have the next game for a while, I’ve been more than busy with titles such as God of War, Monster Hunter World, and Overwatch here and there.